As a teacher I believed that it was my job to ‘surprise and delight’ my children whenever I could. In return, I believed that if I gave them enough space they would ‘surprise and delight’ me.
After the ice balloon experiment that I described yesterday I provided my class with balls of ice (one for each pair of children) and challenged them to keep them frozen for as long as possible. Interestingly, not very many children thought about wrapping them despite their recent experince with the coat and the ice balloon. Outside, it was sunny and the snow was visibly melting. Some children had the idea of putting their ice-balls in the shade and one or two burried them in the melting snow. One pair smashed their ice-ball up and then, realising that they could no longer carry out the experiment, tried to stick it back together again.
One pair of children however thought about the challenge very hard and worried that they would not be able to tell how much their ball had melted. They then decided to draw around their ball (pictured above) so that they had a record to compare their ball with next time they checked.
If I had given the children a more structured and controlled task no doubt the pair who broke their ball would not have done so. However, I do not think that I would have planned for reception children to carry out such careful recording either. I was certainly surprised and delighted when they thought to do this for themselves. How do you make space for your children to ‘surprise and delight’ you?